purple flower of araceae family

The Beauty of Native Plants in Your Garden: How to Create a Wildlife Haven in Your Own Backyard

Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, because deep ecological awareness ultimately, is spiritual awareness

-Fritjot Capra

Are you looking to add some color and life to your garden? Look no further than native plants! New Jersey’s forests, natural areas, and reserves are full of biodiversity, and by adding native plants to your garden, you can provide a home and food source for a variety of wildlife. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, there are many resources available to help guide you in creating a native garden that suits your needs and style.

The growth and expansion of gardens using native plants provide a home and food source for the fascinating stages and development of bees, flies, dragonflies, worms, and other species.  And under our feet, the amazing world of fungi, bacteria, and decomposition alliances work in silence through the soil.

1. Purple Coneflower

purple-cone flower
Credit: Krystal Zuniga (Wild Bird Farm)

The Purple Coneflower (Echinaecea purpurea) is a very popular and easy to grow perennial. Is very attractive for the colorful purple flowers and now is in-demand for being used in herbal tea, helping to strengthen the immune system.

2. Trumpet Vine

Credit: Gardening Know How

Trumpet Vines (Campsis radicans) bring plenty of color and life to your garden for their large bright red flowers, which a lot of hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators adore. These plants need low maintenance, water use, and a lot of sun, which makes them great to grow in your new native garden.

3. Lance-Leaf Coreopsis

Credit: IStock

This famous Lance-Leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) will make you fall in love with its golden blooms. This wildflower is a low-maintenance way to bring life to any meadow thanks to its ability to build soil health while being deer resistant!

If you are looking for design inspiration, there’s nothing like seeing the native flora viewed in their natural landscape. A simple parch of native sunflowers, a prairie full of milkweed, or daisies next to the river are going to inspire you to make a lively and shining garden design. Just one hike through nearby trails or into the woods can give you dozens of ideas that are going to make you want to investigate, photograph, and learn more about it.

Also, it doesn’t matter what your experience with native plants is, there is a lot of information on websites, blogs, books, and journals to help us as a guide and bring the wilderness into our landscapes. There are different ways to create a native garden, with various sizes, focuses, designs, and maintenance techniques, which are going to depend on your zone. You can visit home gardeners, nurseries, or botanical professionals for advice, whose awareness and knowledge about plants can help you create a magical living environment.

To start, try to install two or three of your favorite plant scenes that you discovered on your trips, and place them in your garden. Even a small native garden will help you bring wildlife and more movement to your garden. It’s incredibly rewarding to change the landscape into a native heaven.

Creating a native garden offers a wonderful and interactive experience for both you and the variety of wildlife that will adopt your landscape. With the right selection of plant combinations and species, you can bring the image of that walk through the forest right into your own backyard, inviting butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and many other species to enjoy your garden and make it truly alive.

Author: Krystal Zuniga
Published: September 24th, 2022

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